“I’d have got him” – Perez certain he would have won in Baku without Safety Car
Baku, May 5, AZERTAC
Sergio Perez says he won the Azerbaijan Grand Prix on “pure pace” and would have beaten his team mate even without the Safety Car period which aided his strategy, according to Race Fans.
Max Verstappen took the lead of the race early on while Perez moved up into second place. Perez took the lead by making his mandatory pit stop during a Safety Car period, while Verstappen lost time coming in earlier.
However Perez is confident he would have won the race even without the Safety Car playing in his favour. “Yes, I think I had the pace on Sunday in Baku to win the race,” he told media including RaceFans in Miami.
Perez closed on Verstappen shortly before the leader pitted, and suspects he would have been quick enough to overtake him later in the race. “Yes, I think so,” he said when asked.
“I think on that first stint on that lap if he wouldn’t have pitted, you never know, but I was quite close on the DRS but he was struggling already with the tyres. So I think I would have got him.”
He doesn’t believe Red Bull timed Verstappen’s pit stop to prevent the world champion being passed by his team mate on-track. “I don’t think so,” he said. “I think they pitted Max because they thought that he was struggling with his tyres.
After the race Red Bull team principal Christian Horner pointed out Perez has only won on for them on street circuits so far. But Perez believes the gains he has made with Red Bull’s car this year will transfer to other tracks.
On several occasions early last year Perez had to allow Verstappen to overtake him when ordered by the team. He is grateful Red Bull are allowing them to fight – for now.
Text contains orthographic mistake
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